Merchandize exports from Bangladesh have surged in the last one and half years due to a stunning rebound in the export of woven garments, driven by rising demand and inflow of increased orders. As per a Daily Star report, export of woven garments started recovering from August after going through more than 10 per cent negative growth for 18 months. In August, woven exporters fetched $1.15 billion, registering 4.48 per cent year-on-year growth.
In December, Bangladesh exported woven garments worth $1.86 billion, the highest in a single month and up 48.17 per cent year-on-year, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. In the second half of 2921, the shipments of woven garments grew by 24.30 per cent to $8.74 billion compared to the same period a year ago.
Desh Garments, the country's oldest garment factory’s 75 per cent business was non-existent up to June 2021 as international retailers and brands were not placing adequate orders. Shipment started picking up gradually from June with the reopening of economies worldwide. And at the end of 2021, export receipts from shipment of woven shirts witnessed 60 per cent growth.
Shahidullah Azim, Managing Director, Classic Fashion says, international retailers and brands are placing a lot of work orders for woven items. However, manufacturers may have to rely on Chinese suppliers for the rest of the fabrics. Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA is hopeful about the continuation of the current pace of exports as work orders have not been cancelled or suspended because of Omicron. However, European and American buyers, retailers and brands are likely to shut their outlets if the situation worsens.
Another challenge is abnormal hike of freight charge, which increased as high as 500 per cent. The price of raw materials such as yarn surged in 2021, affecting the garment shipment. Knitwear exports maintained more than 15 per cent growth during the peak of COVID-19 as people were confined to homes in many countries because of stay-at-home orders.